Adela Najarro is the author of three poetry collections: Split Geography, Twice Told Over, and My Childrens, a chapbook that includes teaching resources. With My Childrens she hopes to bring poetry into the classroom so that students can explore creative writing, identity, and what it means to be Latinx in US society. She teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Cabrillo College. Adela holds a doctorate in literature and creative writing from Western Michigan University, as well as an M.F.A. from Vermont College. She is widely published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. More information about Adela can be found at her website: www.adelanajarro.com

Between Two Languages
By Adela Najarro

Misericordia translates to mercy,
as in God have mercy on our souls.
Ten piedad, pity us the poor and suffering,
the lost and broken. Have mercy. Ten piedad.
Misericordia,
a compassionate
forgiveness, carries within
miseria, misery, the stifled cry
on a midnight bus to nowhere,
and yes, the hunger, a starless night’s
piercing howl, the shadows within shadows
under a freeway overpass, the rage
that God might be laughing, or even
worse, silent, gone, a passing hallucination.
Our nerve-wracked bodies tremble.
Our eyes have trouble peering into night.
Let us hope for more than can possibly be.
Señor, ten misericordia de nosotros.
And if we are made in the image of God,
then we can begin heading toward
the ultimate zero, the void
that is not empty, forgive ourselves,
and remember the three
seconds when we caught a glimpse
of someone else’s stifling cry.
Compassion, then miseria, our own
misery intensified by the discordant
ringing of some other life. Our ultimate
separation. Our bodies intolerably
unable to halt the cacophonous
clamor of unanswered prayers.
But nevertheless we must try
for no reason at all. Once more,
Señor, ten misericordia de nosotros,
forgive us for what we cannot do.



Events

Chloe Gentile-Montgomery's Has a New Book of Poetry Rustling of the Spirit



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Members' Page

Vivian Vargas

Founder of the Heidelberg Writers Group in Heidelberg, Germany, Vivian has been writing for many years. Her short story, A Desert Tale, was published in the Porter Gulch Review. Her latest work is a collection of ten short stories of a Latinx family in the 1960s living in the Florence Community of Los Angeles. Each story takes on the ambiguity of one of the Ten Commandments. In an effort to support writers of color in Santa Cruz County, Vivian hopes to create a forum to bring our stories forward.

Amanda Linh Vong

Vong was born in Port Arthur, Texas. She is a first-generation, queer, Vietnamese/Chinese poet, sound artist, and filmmaker. She is the recipient of the 2019 Idstrom Family Prize for Creative Writing in Poetry. She designed, printed, and handbound her chapbook Body of Water at the Creative Writing program at UCSC. Her work has appeared in such publications as Matchbox Magazine, Chinquapin Literary Magazine, A3 Review & Press, Aurora Poetry Anthology, and more.

Tiffany Lynn Wong

Poetry! Non-Fiction.
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Victoria Banales

Victoria Bañales holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Feminist Studies from the UCSC. A Chicanx writer, mother, and activist, she teaches English at Cabrillo College, is editor of Journal X, and a member of the Hive Poetry Collective. Her writing has appeared in Beyond the Frame: Women of Color and Visual Representations, Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas, North Dakota Quarterly, Acentos Review, Cloud Women’s Quarterly Journal, and more. She is the recipient of the 2020 Porter Gulch Review Best Poetry Award. Victoria is currently writing her first novel, titled Candelaria.

Shirley Ancheta

Shirley Ancheta co-edited the Filipino American poetry collection Without Names (Kearny Street Workshop Press, San Francisco), one of the first of its kind in Asian American literature. She grew up in Watsonville. While attending SFSU she was a part of the student movement and became a Third World community activist in San Francisco. She fought against eviction for the elderly at the International Hotel. Shirley was one of the original members of Kearny Street Workshop and founding member of the Bay Area Pilipino Writers Group. She received her BA from UCSC in American Literature. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Premonitions (Kaya Press) Bamboo Ridge, Quarry West and Babaylan. She recently retired from Cabrillo Community College where she worked as an English lab instructor and tutor. She is the widow of poet Jeff Tagami and makes her home in Santa Cruz, CA. She has two sons, Miles and Travis Tagami.

Chloe Gentile-Montgomery

Poetry and non-fiction Raised in Santa Cruz, Chloe is a recent graduate of Santa Clara University where she studied Ethnic Studies and Environmental Science. She recently published her first poetry book, Rustlings of the Spirit, which covers topics of grief, healing, and self-acceptance. Winner of Hoefer Undergraduate Writing Prize, 2021, for her essay entitled Wellbeing and Self-care of Women and Nonbinary Student of Color Activists: 'Taking care of you means taking care of me.'

Christopher Soriano-Palma

Genres: Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and screenwriting. Christopher Soriano-Palma was born and raised in Watsonville, CA to Mexican-American immigrants. He holds an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco alongside a double BA in English and Philosophy from UC Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to Reclamation Magazine and has had his work appear in numerous publications. He continues to live in Watsonville, CA. He is currently at work on his first novel.

Sonya Pendrey

Sonya mostly writes short stories, prose, and poetry. She dedicates her work to her loved ones and fellow strong-minded women.

Adela Najarro

Adela Najarro is the author of three poetry collections: Split Geography, Twice Told Over, and My Childrens, a chapbook that includes teaching resources. With My Childrens she hopes to bring poetry into the classroom so that students can explore creative writing, identity, and what it means to be Latinx in US society. She teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Cabrillo College. Adela holds a doctorate in literature and creative writing from Western Michigan University, as well as an M.F.A. from Vermont College. She is widely published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. More information about Adela can be found at her website: www.adelanajarro.com

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News

An exploration of heritage: Author links Santa Cruz, Japan through art, catastrophe in new novel

Local writer Andrew Kumasaka is a third-generation Japanese American who used the events of the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, which even affected Santa Cruz, as a key part of his plot line in “All Gone Awry.”
By Wallace Baine    Read the article


Robert Gómez Marks Watsonville’s First Poet Laureate

WATSONVILLE—For the first time ever, the city of Watsonville has its very own poet laureate.
By Johanna Miller    Read the Article

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Writers of Color - Santa Cruz County was formed to sponsor and publicize Writers of Color events in Santa Cruz County. WOC-SCC is a forum where Writers of Color can meet other Writers of Color in the county and present their work.



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